Indonesia’s President Megawati Sukarnoputri has become the target of a fatwa forbidding votes for a female presidential candidate. (A fatwa is a religious decision, not necessarily a death sentence, as it is often understood by Western non-Muslims who know only the fatwa against Salman Rushdie.) From News24.com, with thanks to Ali Dashti:
“It was noted that the prohibition on women to assume positions of leadership was no longer a question still in dispute but already something that has been generally accepted among Muslim clerics,” one of them, Anwar Iskandar, told Antara news agency.
Megawati’s party won the 1999 parliamentary election. But Islamic parties in the legislature, which at the time chose presidents, blocked her bid for the leadership – partly on the grounds of her sex. …
Koran Tempo in an editorial criticised the edict. “Not only does such a fatwa have no weight but the public can also consider it cheap,” the paper said.
It will be interesting to see whether the vote goes with the clerics or with the perspective of Koran Tempo.